Saturday, 17 August 2013

Kent's Green Party Councillors Call for Winter Olympics Boycott

Kent Green Party Councillors, Martin Whybrow and Ian Driver, added their voices to growing demands for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi (1), following the Russian government’s introduction of draconian anti-LGBT legislation earlier this year.

In a joint letter to Prime Minster David Cameron, they said Team GB’s participation in the Games “would lend credibility to a European country which has introduced an extremely dangerous piece of legislation, threatening the human rights of millions of its citizens”.
Said KCC Councillor Martin Whybrow: “Last summer Kent hosted 36 Olympic and 8 Paralympic training camps and thousands of people from the county volunteered as Game Makers.  These experiences mean that, as a community, Kent people understand more than most the unique inclusive spirit that makes the modern Olympic movement – a spirit which has no place for the bigotry demonstrated by the Russian government.”

Councillor Ian Driver added: “In 2011 I had the privilege of moving a motion which committed Thanet Council to the support of equal marriage. Thanks to David Cameron’s championing of this change, equal marriage is now lawful. For the government he leads to allow Team GB to compete in a country which has legalised the persecution of its LGBT citizens seems to me to be incompatible with our strong commitment as a nation to inclusivity and tolerance.”

FURTHER INFORMATION: Ian Driver, County Press Officer, Kent Green Party: 45 Sea View Road, Broadstairs, CT10 1BX  Tel: 07866 588766

Promoted by Stuart Jeffery for Kent Green Party, 82 Buckland Road, Maidstone ME16 0SD
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(1)   Other supporters of the boycott include celebrity Stephen Fry, Human Rights Activist Peter Tatchell, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas

Text of letter to David Cameron MP, the Prime Minster
Dear Prime Minster

We are writing to you to express our deep concern about the Russian government’s recent introduction of draconian legislation which allows for the persecution of its LGBT citizens.
As the leader of a country which recently legalised equal marriage, and as one of the main supporters of the campaign for its introduction, we ask you to use your influence to persuade the Russian government to think again about this reactionary legislation.

We believe one of the most effective ways to do this is for our country to join the growing international campaign to boycott the 2014 Winter Games being held at Sochi in Russia.
Team GB’s participation would lend credibility to a European country which has introduced an extremely dangerous piece of legislation, threatening the human rights of millions of its citizens. Our long national tradition of respect, tolerance and inclusivity, as evidenced by our legalisation on equal marriage, is incompatible with participation in the Sochi Games.

If our country were to take a strong moral stand and join the boycott, the Russian government would quickly realise that it is on the wrong side of history.

Yours sincerely
Councillor Martin Whybrow, The Green Party, The Members’ Room, Sessions House,
County Hall, Maidstone Kent ME14 1XQ

Councillor Ian Driver, The Green Party, c/o Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XZ



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